Raising a child to become a dedicated reader is one of the goals of all engaged parents. As we all know, this is a difficult task that takes years of hard work to accomplish. Despite the difficulty the task can be both fun and engaging for parents if gone about in the right way, so to help with the process Read Notebooks has put together a list of the 7 most important steps you can take as a parent to teach your child literacy
Nothing is more important than simply reading to your child as often as you can, from infancy onwards. Not only is this an important bonding activity, but time spent reading to a child instills a love of books from the start and is the best predictor of literacy and reading success for a child’s future.
While reading to or with your child, be sure to pause often to reflect on the story, the words that have been learned, or points that might have been missed. The main goal of reading with your child is to encourage them to think about words, spelling, and context, and for them to learn to decode and comprehend books - something that taking breaks encourages.
Don’t only teach your child to read out of books, encourage them to see and notice words in the real world around them. Surround your child with alphabet blocks, put words on the walls of their room, point out words on signs, and find other ways to show your child that the world around them is full of great things to read, discover, and understand. Every moment outside is a teachable moment!
One of the best things you can do to encourage your child to engage their phonics skills is to engage them in arts and crafts activities. Linking your child’s creative impulses with their ability to create words and sentences encourages literary creativity down the road.
Want your child to love and value books? Take them to places that highlight the value of books and reading. Take them to libraries and show them the world that can be unlocked by wandering the halls, take them to local book shops to show them that books have a high value in society, take them to children’s museums, take them to book fairs - any environment that is rich in books is an environment that lends itself to teaching your child to love them.
To be clear, you should engage your child in as many subjects, genres, and types of reading material as possible, but that does not mean that providing your child with opportunities to engage their personal interests is a bad thing. Interests are the building blocks upon which your child will create a sense of self as they age, so engage those interests and allow them to guide your child’s exploration of reading.
The last, and possibly most overlooked, thing that we recommend you do as a parent to encourage your child’s literary growth is to take some time to nurture your own love of reading. Set a good example for your child and read as much as you can. Read newspapers, magazines, novels, biographies, and anything else. As a parent it is easy to get wrapped up in what you should be doing to promote your child’s growth and education, but remember, your child will look to you for cues on how to live and how to think. Children need to see their parents reading so sit down and relax with a book yourself occasionally.
There are many ways you can support Read Notebooks. First, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and share Read Notebooks with your family and friends. You can also join us at one of our upcoming Read Ups, where we read aloud to children and deliver the donated books. If you are interested in joining a future Read Up, please email email@example.com.